BANIHAL/JAMMU – Multiple landslides at several places hampered restoration work on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway which remained closed for the second day on Wednesday, officials said.
The highway, the only all-weather road linking Kashmir with the rest of the country, was closed for traffic on Tuesday following fresh snowfall and incessant rains.
Though the weather improved, multiple landslides at Panthiyal, Moumpassi and Digdole coupled with slippery conditions delayed restoration work, the officials said.
“The men and machines are on the job and efforts are on to make the highway motorable as soon as possible,” Deputy Superintendent of Police (traffic), National Highway, Shemsher Singh told PTI.
He said the Jawahar Tunnel, which experienced nearly one feet of fresh snowfall, was cleared for one-way traffic and around 1500 Kashmir-bound vehicles including trucks carrying essential commodities were allowed to move towards their destinations with drivers asked to drive carefully due to slippery conditions.
Heavy rains in Ramban triggered shooting of stones from hillocks overlooking the highway between Panthiyal and Ramsu throughout the day on Tuesday, while fresh landslides occurred at different places along the stretch, blocking the road, he said.
In Jammu city and other parts of the region it was a sunny day.
Jammu city recorded a minimum of 6 degrees Celsius — one degree below normal, but the maximum temperature which had slipped over four degrees below normal on Tuesday is likely to settle around the season’s normal at 18.8 degrees Celsius due to clear skies, an official of the Meteorological department said.
He said Katra, the base camp for pilgrims visiting Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine in Reasi district, recorded a low of 5 degrees Celsius.
The shrine and adjoining areas experienced heavy snowfall on Tuesday.
The highway town of Batote in Ramban district was the coldest recorded place in Jammu region with a night temperature of minus 2 degrees Celsius followed by Bhaderwah in Doda district at minus 1.3 degrees Celsius and Banihal at minus 1 degrees Celsius, the spokesman said.